Human Anatomy: Let the students tell us how to teach

Authors

  • Christopher R. Davis,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Frenchay Hospital, Bristol, United Kingdom
    • Correspondence to: Dr. Christopher R. Davis, Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Frenchay Hospital, Frenchay Park Road, Bristol BS16 1LE, United Kingdom. E-mail: chrisdavis959@hotmail.com

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  • Anthony S. Bates,

    1. Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, School of Clinical Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom
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  • Harold Ellis,

    1. Department of Anatomy and Human Sciences, King's College London, London, United Kingdom
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  • Alice M. Roberts

    1. University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom
    2. National Health Service, Severn Deanery, Postgraduate School of Surgery, Bristol, United Kingdom
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Abstract

Anatomy teaching methods have evolved as the medical undergraduate curriculum has modernized. Traditional teaching methods of dissection, prosection, tutorials and lectures are now supplemented by anatomical models and e-learning. Despite these changes, the preferences of medical students and anatomy faculty towards both traditional and contemporary teaching methods and tools are largely unknown. This study quantified medical student and anatomy faculty opinion on various aspects of anatomical teaching at the Department of Anatomy, University of Bristol, UK. A questionnaire was used to explore the perceived effectiveness of different anatomical teaching methods and tools among anatomy faculty (AF) and medical students in year one (Y1) and year two (Y2). A total of 370 preclinical medical students entered the study (76% response rate). Responses were quantified and intergroup comparisons were made. All students and AF were strongly in favor of access to cadaveric specimens and supported traditional methods of small-group teaching with medically qualified demonstrators. Other teaching methods, including e-learning, anatomical models and surgical videos, were considered useful educational tools. In several areas there was disharmony between the opinions of AF and medical students. This study emphasizes the importance of collecting student preferences to optimize teaching methods used in the undergraduate anatomy curriculum. Anat Sci Educ 7: 262–272. © 2013 American Association of Anatomists.

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